Barry Trotz returned to Washington, D.C. to play the Capitals for the first time since he left his defending Stanley Cup championship team and took over as the head coach of the New York Islanders.
After winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, the defending champs gave Trotz his ring when they visited New York in November (the Capitals won, 4-1). But when their old coach and his new team went to Capital One Arena on Friday, they celebrated Trotz and his many contributions to the organization with a touching tribute video.
Capitals fans roared and gave Trotz a long standing ovation while applauding through the entirety of the video playing on the big screen during a break in the first period of Friday night’s game. It also thanked former Washington coaches Lane Lambert and Mitch Korn, who followed Trotz to the Islanders this summer after Trotz and the Capitals failed to agree on a new contract.
And even Alex Ovechkin leaned over the bench to make sure Trotz enjoyed the video.
Trotz — who previously said he didn’t think he coached in Washington long enough to deserve a tribute video — said he had to stop himself from getting emotional. Via The Washington Post:
“I was trying not to look too much because I was getting pretty close to that sensitive side of myself,” Trotz said afterward. “… It was so well done, and I appreciate the Caps for doing that.”
And then Trotz reminded his former team why he’s so valuable, as the Islanders shut out Washington, 2-0. New York outplayed the Capitals in nearly every way: They were faster, more organized and capitalized on opportunities to score, netting the games’ only two goals in three minutes in the third period.
The win for Trotz and the Islanders helped them leap over the Capitals and the Columbus Blue Jackets for first place in the Metro Division with the latter two teams now tied for second.
The Islanders are now on a four-game winning streak, while Washington has dropped its last four.
And then Trotz and his new team shut the Capitals out.